HR Leaders’ Top Concerns: From Hybrid Work to Cyber-Security

by / ⠀Featured News / July 28, 2023
HR Leaders' Top Concerns: From Hybrid Work to Cyber-Security

As the business landscape continues to evolve, HR leaders face a multitude of challenges that keep them up at night. From navigating the complexities of hybrid work arrangements to ensuring robust cybersecurity measures, the responsibilities of Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) have expanded significantly. In this article, we delve into the top concerns of HR leaders, as shared by industry experts. We explore their insights and strategies for addressing these challenges head-on.

The Challenges of Hybrid Work

One of the most pressing concerns for HR leaders is the transition to a hybrid work model. Allison Rutledge-Parisi, Senior Vice President of People at Justworks, highlights the need to find a balance between remote and in-person work. She emphasizes the importance of optimizing in-person collaboration while ensuring that work that thrives with face-to-face interactions is not compromised in a hybrid setup1.

Lauren Valente, Chief Human Resources Officer at Vanguard, echoes this sentiment and emphasizes the need for effective talent management in a hybrid work environment. With a tightening labor market, Valente emphasizes the challenge of retaining and engaging newly recruited members while fostering a strong organizational culture.

Cybersecurity: A Growing Concern

In an increasingly digital world, HR leaders are also grappling with cybersecurity challenges. Lauren Valente acknowledges the sophistication of cyber-attacks and the need for robust information security and fraud prevention measures. HR departments, in collaboration with IT and security teams, must ensure the protection of sensitive employee data and company information.

Ben Gaunt, Chief Talent Officer at BP, emphasizes the importance of change management in the context of cybersecurity. He highlights the need for organizations to proactively address change before it reaches individual employees, ensuring clarity and support throughout the process.

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Talent Strategy and Culture

Another key concern for HR leaders is talent strategy and organizational culture. Jacqui Canney, Chief People Officer at ServiceNow, stresses the importance of stewarding the company’s culture and people strategy, particularly in a tight labor market. Canney highlights the critical role of people analytics in guiding decision-making and ensuring alignment with the organization’s mission and values.

Marjorie Powell, Chief Human Resources Officer at AARP, emphasizes the challenges of talent development and reskilling in a rapidly evolving labor market. As the skills and capabilities required for success change, HR leaders must find efficient ways to acquire new talent and facilitate the development of existing employees.

Overcoming the Skills Gap

The skills gap is a persistent challenge for organizations across industries. A recent report from Harvard Business School highlights inflexibility as one of the primary contributors to this gap. Companies often underutilize skilled part-time workers who could contribute more if given the opportunity. The report suggests that by relaxing stringent hiring criteria, organizations can tap into a vast pool of hidden talent and address the skills shortage.

HR Headlines: News from the Industry

In addition to the insights shared by HR leaders, it is essential to stay updated with the latest news and trends in the industry. Here are some recent HR headlines:

  • Amazon’s Accommodations for Workers with Disabilities: A report from the nonprofit United for Respect alleges that Amazon has failed to provide adequate accommodations for workers with disabilities or those recovering from injuries.
  • The Impact of Workplace Communication: The Wall Street Journal explores the impact of different communication styles in the workplace, highlighting the negative effects of yelling and the preference for more open and constructive communication.
  • Efficiency Measures in Startups: As interest rates rise and venture capital investments decline, startups are adopting an “efficiency” approach, including layoffs and salary reductions, to optimize their operations.
  • Heat Protection for American Employees: President Biden announces measures to protect American employees from extreme heat, recognizing the health risks associated with rising temperatures.
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Watercooler: Insights from Fortune

Fortune provides additional insights and updates on various topics. Here are a few noteworthy pieces:

  • Hesitation in Business Travel: Lingering pandemic anxiety and other factors have contributed to employee hesitation when it comes to business travel. Only one-third of surveyed business travelers express happiness about being back on the road.
  • Recovery-Ready Workplaces: Some employers are shifting their focus from post-work happy hours to creating “recovery-ready” workplaces, offering support to employees with a history of substance abuse.
  • AI in the Workforce: Netflix is willing to pay top dollar for an AI product manager, highlighting the increasing demand for artificial intelligence expertise. Meanwhile, writers and actors are protesting the streaming service, expressing concerns about wages and the potential impact of AI on their professions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What is the primary concern for HR leaders in the current business landscape?

    • HR leaders are primarily concerned with navigating the challenges of hybrid work arrangements and ensuring effective talent management in a tightening labor market.
  2. How can organizations address the skills gap?

    • Organizations can address the skills gap by relaxing stringent hiring criteria and tapping into the pool of skilled part-time workers who are often underutilized.
  3. What are some recent HR headlines?

    • Recent HR headlines include allegations against Amazon for inadequate accommodations for workers with disabilities, the impact of workplace communication styles, efficiency measures in startups, and new measures to protect employees from extreme heat.
  4. What are some insights from Fortune’s Watercooler section?

    • Fortune’s Watercooler section provides insights on employee hesitation in business travel, the shift towards recovery-ready workplaces, and the increasing demand for AI expertise in the workforce.
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As HR leaders navigate the ever-changing landscape of the business world, their concerns reflect the complex challenges they face. From hybrid work arrangements to cybersecurity and talent management, these leaders must continuously adapt and strategize to meet the evolving needs of their organizations. By staying informed about HR trends, industry insights, and innovative solutions, HR professionals can proactively address these concerns and drive success in their respective roles.

First reported on Fortune

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